Think for a minute about the friends and family members you have on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumbler… etc. Who on your list would you consider to deliver consistently reputable information? Would they be someone whose post you would take for face value and not even bother to Snopes? Would you feel comfortable passing on that information, without even second-guessing your click to “share”?
Well those are the kinds of people the media target their messages to. They are called the opinion leaders. They are “used” by the media to filter messages to the rest of us the opinion followers. This process is called the Two-Step Theory. This is a theory about how messages are transmitted to the public.
Messages are passed on the leaders. Leaders are people who either inadvertently or purposely have their eyes and ears out for messages from the media and for what ever reason choose to pass those message along, usually with their own interpretation or opinion of that message to the followers.
Now think for a moment are there times when you are the leader? How do you feel your own opinion was swayed by someone else’s postings? That is how powerful opinions can be. . How about those who have follow you, how do you affect their opinions? You have the opportunity though the social media to influence a great number of people. It is important for all of us collectively to understand the affect we have with a simple click of a mouse, the pass of a message, the comment on an advertisement.
So the next time you sit down and begin to click and share those ads, pics and memes take a moment and think about the messages you want to transmit to those who follow you, about the power your wield. Think about how your power is being used by the media and make the choice your are comfortable living with.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas on this. I’d love to hear from you!